A supplementary program to address an identified or anticipated reading problem. Remedial interventions are aimed at school children who have been identified as achieving below expected levels. Preventive interventions are aimed at (younger) children who are thought to be at risk for developing reading problems.

Invented Spelling

A child’s spelling system based on letter names and/or sounds. It is also called inventive spelling, creative spelling, estimated spelling.

Language Milestones

A significant point in language development, such as saying one’s first word or beginning to combine words.


This includes reading, writing, and the creative and analytical acts involved in producing and comprehending texts.


The aspects of language structure related to the ways words are formed from prefixes, roots and suffixes (e.g., “mis-spell-ing”) and are related to each other.


The consonant(s) at the start of a syllable; the remainder of the syllable is called its “rime.” In “swift,” “sw” is the onset and “ift” is the rime.

Orthographic Awareness

Knowing that letters and diacritics represent the spoken language; attending to predictable and frequent spelling patterns. (A diacritic is a mark, such as the cedilla of façade or the acute accents of résumé, added to a letter to indicate a special phonetic value or distinguish words that are otherwise graphically identical.)


A method of representing spoken language by letters and diacritical marks, spelling.


In oral language, the small units that combine to form syllables and words (e.g., the phonemes in the standard English words “bit” and “hit” are the same except for the first segment and the word “hint” has one more phoneme that the word “hit.”).

Phoneme Segmentation

To break words into phonemes.

Phonemic Awareness

A special kind of “phonological awareness” (defined below) involving the smallest units of oral language, phonemes.

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